Entrepreneurs are today's rock stars! I even heard Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have paparazzi following them around.
People talk about the glamour of being an incredibly successful entrepreneur, but they rarely talk about what it takes to become successful and stay on top.
I've personally gone through the euphoria and the pain of founding several wildly successful companies. But just as importantly I've learned from other successful entrepreneurs along the way. Stephen Covey, one of my favorite authors, helped show hundreds of thousands of people how to be highly effective in life.
Entrepreneurs who succeed in building lasting businesses are highly effective as well because they embrace these habits:
1. They relentlessly execute, each and every day.
Ideas are great... but without execution, ideas are worthless.
Effective entrepreneurs know that ongoing execution is everything. They constantly tackle the projects that, one by one, add up to creating a large and thriving business.
Strategy is important, but execution builds a business. Execution should always be your primary focus. Plus, execution yields an important by-product: by executing you also get the data and information you need to make smarter decisions and keep a new business growing the right way.
2. They surround themselves with awesome people.
Yeah, you're a rock star. You're a hard charging, laser-focused, goal achieving machine.
But you don't do it alone.
This Harvard study showed that the overall performance of heart surgeons improved when they were able to consistently work with the same team at their primary hospital. Put them with other teams and they didn't perform as well. No surprise, right?
Then why don't you value the team around you more than you do?
Of course you can take it a step farther. The study didn't measure the skills of the teams; familiarity alone made a difference. Imagine how much better you could perform - and the individual members of your team could perform - if you worked hard to bring in the absolute best people possible.
Effective people know that no one succeeds at anything worthwhile on their own -- so they work hard to build teams of bright, motivated, and highly skilled people, knowing that a great team is always greater than the sum of its parts.
3. They constantly measure success.
Most of us - whether as individuals or as a company - tend to become what we measure. That's why I consistently monitor our company's performance on our key performance metrics like gross revenue, the number of customers that purchase new products, total marketing expense, and cost of goods.
Of course it's not enough to simply measure. Information is only useful if it's actionable; making smart changes or adjustments is when data becomes genuinely useful. (Pretty charts are great... but only if you make smart decisions based on the information on those charts.)
To support that type of culture, we hold a weekly meeting where everyone wears lab coats so they feel like they're conducting science experiments. When a particular "experiment" fails, we treat it as a victory because failure means we're one step closer to winning.
Set your goals. Create a regimen that supports those goals, and be disciplined in following that regimen. Ruthlessly track your progress.
Then find ways to fix what you do poorly. Find ways to be even better at what you already do well. Polish and hone and adapt... and work hard every day to be better, as an individual and as a team, than you were yesterday.
And keep reevaluating the goals and core metrics of your business are as it evolves. Successful entrepreneurs often adjust their path as they and their team learn and grow.
They know that's the way to become not just effective, but highly effective - and is the way to build a great business.